Friday, October 30, 2015

KZ ED9: The Enigma

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Intro


TL;DR: One of the myriad of IEMs from the brand I most love to hate, the KZ ED9 offers an otherwise excellent budget package were it not for its manufacturer’s poor (if not outright lack of) quality control.

Before I begin I would like to thank George at Gearbest.com for providing the review sample of the Xiaomi Pistons 3.0 shown in this review. Please note that I am neither affiliated with Gearbest or any of its staff, nor am I being paid for writing this review. Unless otherwise specified, everything you see written in this review are my own honest opinion, so please take that with a grain of salt. All photos you see in this review are also my own unless otherwise specified. Thanks!

Knowledge Zenith, otherwise known as KZ, is as the title says – an enigma. That’s because we don’t really have that much information about them, and also because they’ve never bothered to release any of that. All we know is that they’re a Chinese manufacturer that makes a crap ton of ultra-cheap IEMs that they sell through online marketplaces like Aliexpress. That, and they have a massive cult following on Head-Fi that practically worship the brand with every post they make on the Asian brand thread or their official appreciation thread.

But I’m gonna get straight to the point. I don’t like KZ. I’m not gonna lie about that. I don’t like their lack of presence as a company. I don’t like their lack of ways to contact them. But I couldn’t ignore the cultish hype. It had me curious as to if they really were worth the continuously-spreading hype. And just a few weeks ago, the opportunity presented itself. And so here I am, reviewing one of the many IEMs from the brand I love to hate. Will they stand up to my expectations? Find out after the jump.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Xiaomi Pistons 3.0: The Successor

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Intro



TL;DR: The successor to the popular Xiaomi Pistons 2.0, the 3.0 offers a remarkably versatile package that is no less than excellent at its price point. Easily one of the best IEMs I've ever reviewed.

Before I begin I would like to thank George at Gearbest.com for providing the review sample of the Xiaomi Pistons 3.0 shown in this review. Please note that I am neither affiliated with Gearbest or any of its staff, nor am I being paid for writing this review. Unless otherwise specified, everything you see written in this review are my own honest opinion, so please take that with a grain of salt. All photos you see in this review are also my own unless otherwise specified. Thanks!

Ahh, the Xiaomi Pistons. The first IEM where I wrote a serious review, and the only one to be as popular as it is. Since that Christmas of 2012 the demand for the Pistons 2.0 exploded into a massive craze that lasted a bit over a whole year. Then, sometime around April of 2014, news came about of a successor to the Pistons 2.0, aptly named the Pistons 3. Upon its release, there was some buzz surrounding them, but the hype train never really took off the way the 2.0 did. And, well, for that entire year I never really took the chance to get a pair and review it myself. That is, until now.

So here I am, back where it all began. The sands of time have swept across the budget IEM market, with it bringing fierce new contenders. How will the Pistons 3 stand up to some of 2015’s latest and greatest? Let's find out after the jump.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Brainwavz S3: And...We Just Ended

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Intro


TL;DR: Brainwavz' latest (and last) S-series IEM, the S3 proves itself to be a very weak farewell to the S-series with its iffy quality control and excessively warm sound.

Before I begin, I would like to sincerely thank Pandora at Brainwavz for providing the review sample of the Brainwavz S3 you see in this review. Please note that I am neither affiliated with Brainwavz or any of its staff, nor am I being paid in any form for writing this review. All opinions expressed in the following review are strictly my own unless otherwise specified, and all photos are taken and own by me. Finally, please take the following review with a grain of salt. Thanks!

With the recently-released Brainwavz Jive that met universally positive reactions from the audiophile community, many of us there hoped for one thing: a higher-end follow-up to the Jive. With a beautiful sound signature at a thirty dollar price tag, a higher price tag would allow Brainwavz to improve the sound even further and provide a more robust build to make one hell of a competitor in its price bracket. And, well, just about a couple weeks ago, they announced the release of the Brainwavz S3, an 80-dollar IEM that may or may not be that successor the audiophiles have been waiting for. Is it? Find out after the jump.